A hallmark of the Christmas in July Festival is the joy it brings to people of all ages. Guests young and old can find something for them to enjoy and interact with during the celebration of Ashe County’s trees.

Vice president of the Christmas in July Festival Board of Directors Jane Lonon said the Arts Council sets up an area for children to do hands-on activities and crafts.

“It’s called Creation Station, and it’s a place for children to be creative and have fun with the arts,” Lonon said.

The festival will also be home to many inflatables which will require a ticket for anyone wanting to partake in the fun. A large slide and bounce house will be some of the five inflatables in the parking lot next to LifeStore Insurance. Nearby the main areas of the festival will be West Jefferson park, which has lots of room for fun activities.

Roaming around West Jefferson will be performers such as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, who will be available for photo opportunities with everyone.

InterACTive Theater of Jef will be juggling, miming and doing other comedic street theater for all to enjoy, there will be a magician in attendance, along with the Balloon Lady who will be making balloon sculptures. Mark Lippard will be riding around on his unicycle, as well as towering over the attendees on his stilts as he walks throughout the festival.

Located at the end of the food court on Backstreet on Saturday will be the Community Stage. The Community Stage showcases local talent including the Dancin’ Debbies, the Fleet Feet Cloggers, the Fleetwood Folk and more. Lonon said that many of the performers will be on the younger side, letting children see people their own age entertain and be celebrated.

Lonon said it’s important for the festival to be fun for the whole family, with the kids of today potentially bringing their kids to the festival in the future.

“Christmas in July is a family-friendly event,” Lonon said. “You have to have things in it that the children love and that the parents love as well. It’s important that everyone enjoys themselves.”

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